As a faithful reader of our quarterly newsletter, you have read numerous articles about our search for qualified drivers and diesel technicians. You have read our tales of woe regarding various avenues of recruiting with limited success. You have even read about Jeff Jenks regularly taking his truck out to a local first grade class so they could experience the truck up close and personal. We have joked about it taking a long time to see if that recruiting technique works but it appears he may have been on the right track all along!
Recently in the midst of an interview, the applicant stated that when he was a little boy he saw one of the signature Truckmen trucks (with sunglasses). He said he told his parents he wanted to drive one of those when he grew up! Truckmen has been in business since 1991 and that truck started rolling shortly thereafter – it makes you realize the impact something like that has on the public. I guess you could say that it was our “rolling billboard” or “Facebook” profile back in the day before social media.
This incident got us thinking about how trucking is presented to children. Jeff goes into the schools with his truck and the children have a great time climbing in and out and blowing the horn. My grandsons have many books on trucks and all the wonderful things trucks do for us! But I just noticed this weekend that few of these trucks have drivers!!! The trucks just seem to come to life and make it happen! One book even has them tucking themselves in at night! And there is not ONE book about drivers! So what happens when one of those first graders goes home and says, “I want to be a truck driver when I grow-up!” I doubt if they get much encouragement – but why???
Many years ago in our own large blended family we had a young man who was driving his widowed mother crazy (I’m sure some of you can relate to that). The son had been in and out of college, held a number of jobs but nothing seemed to keep his interest. At her wit’s end, his mother asked him what he was going to do with the rest of his life???? He replied he really wanted to be a truck driver just like his father had been. When she asked why didn’t he tell her that years before, he replied he was afraid she would be disappointed. She wanted him to go to college and have a career and he wanted to drive truck. That young man went on to have a very successful career as a driver. He is now working for a Fortune 500 company training new drivers!
We encourage our young children to be firemen, policeman, teachers, and nurses, etc. Let’s put drivers back in those storybook trucks. Let’s tell the story of good people working a good and honorable profession. Remember the saying, “If you got it, a truck (driver) got it to you!”